I’ve been looking for a new fun car for a while now. As much as I love my Mazda3, it’s no sports car. Right now I’m looking at two different options and I’d like your input.

1) 88 Pontiac Fiero Formula

My first car was an 85 Fiero with the 2.5 L Iron Duke and a 3-speed automatic. It was slow, rode terribly, and I loved it. It would be awesome to have another Fiero, but I don’t want another base model.

A 5-speed Formula, with its 2.8 L V6 and Lotus-tuned suspension, would improve on all of the faults of my old car and let me enjoy some wonderful mid-engined fun again. It isn’t an AW11 MR2, but then some publications actually preferred the Formula back in the day.

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There’s one for $4500 with under 50K miles on it near by that I’m currently ogling. It’s wonderfully clean.

2) Merkur XR4Ti

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The XR4Ti was released when my dad was in college and it was one car he always wanted but never had the opportunity to own. Before he passed early this year, I talked to him about my desire to own one and he thought it was really cool that I was interested in a car he wanted when he was my age.

What gives me pause when weighing the XR4Ti against the Fiero is that maintaining the Merkur is going to be difficult. Parts are scarce and only getting scarcer. Keeping this car on the road may be beyond my means.

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Additionally, while I love that the Merkur is a RWD 3-door hatch, that’s something I want in a daily driver, not a sports car. I’d rather not waste space and weight on a back seat that I won’t use.

There’s one going for $3000 with nearly 140K miles on it nearby that I’ve been staring at for the past week. It has a frustrating mix of desirable and undesirable modifications.

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Summary

Maybe there are some drawbacks to the Fiero, but I can’t think of any. It’s exactly everything I’m looking for in a fun car.

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There are definitely drawbacks to the XR4Ti, but I love how weird it is and it would be a cool tribute to my dad.

What do you think, fellow Opponaughts?